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Please pick up your midterm if you havent already Today:

Finish Chapter 13 (Liquids) Start Chapter 14 (Gases and Plasmas) Prof. Abranyos will take over the Class today from 2.45-3.25pm
(sorry, I must attend a meeting for graduate advisors)

Gases and plasmas: Preliminaries

Will now apply concepts of fluid pressure, buoyancy, flotation of Ch.13, to the atmosphere.

Main difference between a liquid like water and a gas like air is that in the gas, the density can vary hugely; our atmospheres density is depth dependent.

Gases vs liquids: both are fluids but molecules in gas are far apart and can move much faster, free from cohesive forces.

A gas will expand to fill all space available Note! An empty cup is not really empty its filled with air. In fact a 1 m3 empty cube of air has a mass of 1.25 kg (at sea level).

Before you go grocery shopping you check whats in the refrigerator and find only a large orange. Which weighs more, the air in the fridge, or the orange? The fridge has a volume of about 0.75 m3. The air in the fridge! The mass density of air at 0o C and normal atmospheric pressure is about 1.25 kg/m3. So the mass of air in the fridge is

(mass density) x volume = 1.25 x 0.75 = 0.94 kg. i.e ~ 2 pounds.

This is more than a large orange.

Note: We dont notice the weight of air because we are submerged in air. If someone handed you a bag of water while you were submerged in water, you wouldnt notice its weight either. A fish also forgets about the weight of water just like we dont notice weight of air.

The atmosphere
What determines the thickness of our atmosphere? Balance between: kinetic energy of molecules
spreads molecules apart


holds molecules near earth

Consider extremes: (i) If very little gravity (eg on moon), then molecules would move, collide, and eventually disappear into space. So no atmosphere. (ii) If gravity very strong c.f. kinetic energy (eg on a remote planet), molecules move too slowly, and form a liquid or solid, like the planet itself so again no atmosphere. Earth balance between the two effects, so we do fortunately have an atmosphere! (we can breathe!!)

Exactly how tall is the atmosphere?

Not a meaningful question, since it gets thinner and thinner as you go higher and higher. Even in interplanetary space, have about 1 gas molecule (mostly hydrogen) every cubic meter.
Air is least dense up here

and most dense here

Atmospheric Pressure
Atmosphere exerts pressure, like water in a lake. We are at the bottom of an ocean of air. Madeburg hemisphere experiment (1654): Make sphere from 2 copper hemispheres, m in diameter. Evacuate the sphere with vacuum pump. Two teams of 8 horses each couldnt pull the spheres apart! What is holding the two hemispheres so tightly together? Atmospheric pressure outside, no pressure inside (vacuum). Rather than being sucked together, they are pushed together by air molecules.

Same idea behind why the weight is lifted when air is pumped out here no pressure inside cylinder, so unbalanced atmos pressure outside pushes piston upwards, raising the weight.

Atmospheric pressure cont.

Unlike water, density of atmosphere varies with height, so pressure relation in terms of depth is not as simple. Not uniform. At sea level, 1 m3 of air has mass of 1.25 kg At 10km height, 1 m3 of air has mass of 0.4 kg (So need additional mass of air to pressurize airplanes). Recall Pressure = Force/area = weight/area. So to find pressure at sea level, need to calculate weight of a column of air rising up to top of atmosphere, say about 30 km. Find that a 1m2 area cylinder, 30 km high, has mass of 10 000kg. i.e. weight of 100 000 N. So pressure = 100 000 N/ (1 m)2 = 100 kPa
1 Pa = 1 N/m = Pascal
Precisely, sea-level atmospheric pressure = 101.3 kPa

Clicker Question
It would be easier to pull evacuated Magdeburg hemispheres apart when they are A) 20 km above the ocean surface. B) at sea level. C) 20 km beneath the ocean surface. D) held upside down. E) none of these

Answer: A
Its atmospheric pressure that we have to counter. This is least higher up in the atmosphere out of the given options.

Why doesnt the pressure of the atmosphere make our building collapse ? Atmospheric pressure is exerted on both the inside and outside of the walls of our building, so there is no net force. Note that the building (or at least glass windows) can collapse if the pressure is changed a lot on one side (eg tornadoes)

Measure pressure of atmosphere

Simple mercury barometer: Fill tube with mercury and then turn upside down into dish. Mercury runs out into the dish until level in tube is 76 cm, as shown.

Why 76cm? Because, of pressure balance: barometer balances when weight of liquid in tube exerts same pressure as atmosphere outside. Its 76cm, regardless of how wide the tube is: weight of any 76cm column of mercury equals weight of same width column of 30 km of air. If atmospheric pressure increases, then air pushes down harder on the mercury , so column pushed up higher than 76 cm.

Barometers cont.
How about a barometer made of water?

Why not but how tall would the glass tube have to be?

The weight of the water column would need to be the same weight as 76cm column of mercury, but density of water is 13.6 x less than the density of mercury hence, water barometer would have to be (at least) 13.6 x 76cm = 10.3 m tall. Again, regardless of tubes width.
This also explains why you cant get water to be more than 10.3m tall,

with a vacuum pump.

Just like barometer, when you drink through a straw, its the

atmospheric pressure outside the straw that is pushing the water up. See next slide!

Question: Why is it hardly possible to drink sodas on the moon with straws? Because what makes the drink go up the straw the atmospheric pressure and this is essentially zero on the moon. Its this that pushes the drink up the straw, in which your sucking has created much less pressure.

DEMO: ( tease your friends at the bar with this!) You cant get much drink this way, because of the straw poking outside the pressure inside your mouth is not reduced.

Buoyancy of Air
An object surrounded by air is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the air displaced.

c.f. Archimedes principle for liquids in the previous chapter.

An object will rise in air (ie float upward) if its density is less than airs density:

Why? Downward grav force (= weight-density x volume) is then less than upward buoyant force (= weight-density-of-air x volume). So there is a net upward force. Eg. He-gas filled balloon (or heated air balloon since hot air is less dense than normal air) Greater buoyancy if the helium could be evacuated but not practical since how would keep the balloon sides from collapsing in? Could use stronger material but then weight is too large, so wouldnt rise at all

Clicker Question
A large block of styrofoam and a small block of iron give identical weights when measured on a weighing scale. Which has greater mass? A) The styrofoam B) The iron C) They have the same mass
Hint: First answer which experiences a larger buoyancy force?

Answer: A, the styrofoam

Because of its greater volume, the styrofoam displaces more air so experiences larger buoyancy force upwards. The weight of anything measured in air is its true weight (mg) minus buoyant force if this net force is same for both, then the mg of styrofoam must be larger, i.e. it has a greater mass.

Differences with buoyancy in air and liquid

Important differences: (i) due to the air density becoming less as you go higher (liquid density remains about the same). So buoyant force decreases as you rise in atmosphere (but stays same while rise in water).

(ii) there is no top to the atmosphere (it just keeps thinning out), unlike liquid surface.
Consequence: a light balloon released from bottom of ocean will rise all the way to waters surface; whereas if released from surface of earth, will stop rising at a certain height. Why, and how high will a helium balloon rise? When buoyant force on balloon equals its weight, it will stop accelerating upwards. (Buoyant force = displaced-weight-of-air, so for same volume of balloon, this decreases as it rises because air is becoming less dense).

May continue to rise at the const. speed it reached (but will slow due to air resistance).
If balloon material is able to expand, then it will as it rises, as theres less pressure outside, so will displace a greater volume of air net effect is that buoyant force remains same. If it continues to expand, it will eventually pop

NOTE: the balloon is compressible.

Answer: 1, sink Because at deeper levels the surrounding water pressure is greater and will squeeze and compress the balloonits density increases. Greater density results in sinking. Or look at it this way: at the surface its buoyant force is just adequate for equilibrium. When the buoyant force is reducedits inadequate for equilibrium.

Boyles Law
When you increase the pressure of a confined gas, how does the volume change? And vice-versa? This is Boyles law:
P1V1 = P2V2 for a fixed temperature.

i.e. - If you halve the volume of container, the pressure is doubled, since more collisions (bouncing) between molecules and with walls.
Effectively, the density is doubled. pressure ~ density (at fixed temp)
proportional to

Notes: (i) fixed temperature means fixed average speed of molecules (ii) strictly speaking, Boyles law applies to ideal gases i.e. when neglect any sticky forces between molecules and treat them as point particles. At normal temps and pressures, air is well-approximated to be an ideal gas.

Moving fluids
So far, talked about stationary fluids (hydrostatics). When fluids are moving, (hydrodynamics), have additional effects. Consider water moving through pipe of varying thickness: The volume passing through any cross-section is the same in a given time interval. So, in narrower region, speed must be faster. Eg. Squeeze on end of garden hose, water speeds up. Eg. River entering a narrow gorge speeds up.
Streamlines (eg thin lines above) represent paths (trajectories) of
Water flows faster here

parts of fluid. So are closer together in narrower regions where flow is faster.

Bernoullis Principle
Where the speed of a fluid increases, internal pressure in the liquid decreases. Can see from increase in size of bubbles in narrower regions: (how big a bubble is depends on the surrounding water pressure) Bernouilis principle holds when

(i) the temperature, density, and elevation of fluid remains about constant. (ii) when flow is laminar (i.e. smooth, steady), and not turbulent (i.e chaotic) Note: Distinction between internal and external pressure within liquid exerted by fluid on something
Eg. using high-speed water jets to cut steel external pressure

DEMO: Hold piece of paper horizontally up to mouth and blow across it. What happens? Paper rises! Blowing causes greater air speed above, so decreases internal pressure above c.f. below. ANOTHER DEMO: (try also at home!) Balance two empty light bottles or cans on straws and blow between them they move together! Eg. Messed up hair-dos while riding in a car with open top your hair rises! Pressure outside is less since air is moving (relatively) whereas air inside is static. Eg. Why during storm, roof might blow off: fast moving air above (bunched up streamlines), so less air pressure above than inside.

More examples/applications
Eg. Bernoullis pr. is not always a bad thing eg design of airplane wings, make air flow faster over the top surface, by a tilt in the wing, called angle of attack.
net upward force (lift)


Increased lift for larger wing surface area and larger speeds.

Eg. Spinning base-ball drags a thin layer of air around with it (frictional

effect) :
non-spinning symmetric streamlines spinning air pressure greater at B than A, so ball curves up

See book for many more interesting examples! (from insects to shower curtains)

Fourth phase of matter: electrified gas. Least common in every day life and environment, but most common in the universe as a whole. The sun and other stars are mostly plasma. Made of ions and free electrons
atoms/molecules stripped of one or more electrons. So is positively charged.

Plasma as a whole is neutral, since electrons charges cancel ions charges. Conducts electric current, absorbs radiation that gases would be transparent to, can be shaped and moved by electric and magnetic fields. To create in a lab: either heat gas very high, to boil off electrons, or, can bombard atoms with high-energy particles or radiation to strip off electrons Naturally found in our sun and other stars, ionosphere, van Allen radiation belts around Earth,aurora borealis/australis Fluorescent lamps, neon lights

Answer: 2 This is just like the example on an earlier slide during lecture. Before evacuation, the forces acting on each ball are the gravitational force, the force exerted by the balance beam and the upward buoyant force exerted by the surrounding air. Evacuating the container removes the buoyant force on each ball. Since buoyant force equals the weight of air displaced, and the larger ball displaces the greater weight of air, the loss of buoyant force is greater for the larger ball, which falls.

Answer: 1 larger As water gains speed, pressure in the water decreases from Bernoullis principle. Decreased water pressure squeezes less on air bubbles, allowing them to expandso that air pressure and surrounding water pressure match. If the flowing water continues its flow into a wider section of pipe, speed decreases, pressure increases, and the bubbles become smaller.